AHLERS' OFF-THE-RECORD COMMENTS ON DE GAULLE'S VISIT TO BONN

Created: 10/7/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Intelligence Information Cable

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WEST GERMANY/FRANCE DOT :

SUBJECT: AKLERS' OFF-THE-RECGRD COMMENTS ON DE GAULLE* S

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StKKARY: DEPUTY PRESS CHIEF CONRAD AHLERS DELIVERED .AN OFF-TKE-Q RECORD BRIEFING

WHICH HE SUMMARIZED THEETWEEN GERMAN AND FRENCH LEADERS.

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SAID THAT THE ATMOSPHERE SURROUNDING THE TALKS WAS SO FROSTYTHAT, AS FAR AS FRAN CO-GERMAN RELATIONS WERE CONCERNED, IT WAS INDEED GOING TOOLD WINTER. GERMAN LEADERS HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSIONESULT OF THESE TALKS THAT THE FREMCH WILL GO ONLY AS FAR IN THEIR COOPERATION WITH WEST GERMANY AS THEY BELIEVE WILLERVE FRENCH INTERESTS AND THAT FRENCH POLICY WILL MORS THAN EVERONCENTRATED ON FRENCH NATIONAL'INTERESTS ALONE. IN TKE FIELD OF EASTERN POLICY THEY FEEL THAT GERMANY CAN NO LONGER EXPECT ANY FRENCH SUPPORT AND THAT THE POSSIBILITYOINT FRANCO-GERMAN EFFORT IN THIS AREA IS DEAD. IT IS EXPECTED THAT THE WHOLE FRANCO-GERMAN RELATIONSHIP WILL TAKEEW CHARACTER. THE TALKS WITH THE FRENCH HAVE UNITED THE CHANCELLOR AND HIS SPD FOREIGN MINISTER IN MANY AREAS OF FOREIGN POLICY AND THIS IDENTITY OF VIEWS HAS ALSO EXTENDED TO OTHER LEVELS OF TKE CDU AND SPD. AHLERS ALSO COtfliEfcTED ON ACRL'OOHIOUS EXCHANGES BETWEEN THEAND DE GAULLE, PARTICULARLY DURING DISCUSSIOfc OF THE SITUATION IN EASTERN EUROPE. AHLERS SAID THAT IT WAS APPARENT THAT TKE FRENCH HAD COiEN BELIEVING THAT THE WESI GERMANS WOULD ACCEDE TO ALMOST ANYTHING THE FRENCH HAD TC SAY OUT OF THEIRF EVESTS IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA AND THE SITUATION IN EASTERN EUROPE

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DEPUTY PRESS CHIEF CONRAD AHLERS GAVE AN

GENERALLY. I.

OFF-THE-RECORD BRIEFING |

COMMENT! FOR INFORMATION

ON THE RECENT CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN

FRENCH AND GERMAN LEADERS IN BONN.

ON THE DE GAULLE-KISSINGER TALKS GIVEN TON OFFICERS SEE EMBASSY BONN. AHLERS SAID THAT THE FRENCH HAD APPARENTLY COMEN FEELING SURE THE THE GERMANS WOULD ACCEDE TO ALMOST "ANYTHING TEE FRENCH BADAY BECAUSE OF THE GERMAN UNEASINESS OVER CZECHOSLOVAKIA AMD OVER THE SITUATION IS EASTERN EUROPE GENERALLY. HE SAID THAT THE ATMOSPHERE SURROUNDING THE TALKS WAS SO FROSTY AND UNRELENTING THAT ONE COULD ONLY ASSUME THAT, AS FAR AS FRANCO-GERMAN RELATIONS WERE CONCERNED, IT IS INDEED GOING TOOLD WINTER.

2. SEVERAL CONCLUSIONS HAD BEEN DRAWN BY THE GERMAN LEADERS IR THE LIGHT OF THEIR TALKS WITH THE FRENCH. THEY FEELESULT OF THESE TALKS THAT FROM NOV ON THE FRENCH WILL FOLLOW MORE THAN EVER A POLICY OF "NATIONAL EGOISM" AND THAT THEILL GO ONLY AS FAR IK THEIR COOPERATION VITH WEST BERK AIT AS THEY.

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SERVES THE INTERESTS OF FRANCE, TKEY BELIEVE ALSO THAT -FRANCE WILL CONTINUE ITS OWN POLICY IN EASTERN EUROPE WHETHER IT COINCIDES WITH GERMAN INTERESTS IN THIS AREA OR NOT. AHLERS SAID THAT IT HAS BECOME CLEAR TO THE BONN GOVERNMENT THAT IN THE LONG RUN FRENCH POLICY IS DIRECTED AT NEUTRALISM. IT IS EXPECTED EAT THE WHOLE FRANCO-GERMAN RELATIONSHIP VJ.LL TAXEEW CHARACTER.

3. AS FAR AS THE EFFECT OF THE TALKS ON THE INTERNAL GERMAN SITUATION IS CONCERNED, AHLERS SAID THAT IT HAS BROUGHT THE CCALITION PARTNERS MUCH CLOSER ON MANY FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES THAN TKEY EVER HAD SEER. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE OF KIESIKGER ANDUT IT ALSO EXTENDS TO OTHER LEVELS OF TKE SPD AND THE CDU. THE TALKS HAVE ALSO HAD THE EFFECT, ACCORDING TO AHLERS, OF STRENGTHENING THE POSITION OF THOSE WHO HAD ALL ALONG OPPOSED CLOSE TIES WITH FRARCS ON THE GROUNDS THAT GERMANY COULD NOT COUNT ON DE GAULLE.

THERE WERE FEW POINTS OF REAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE FRENCH ASD THE GERiJAS LEADERS. GAULLE APPEARED, HOWEVER, TO UNDERSTAND GERMAN NEED FOR NATO AND HE AGREED VITH KIESINEER THAT THE REAL TARGET OF ALL DETENTE POLICY IS MOSCOW RATHER THAN TKE STATES OF EASTERN EUROPE. IT BECAME APPARENT, HOWEVER, AHLERS SAID, THAT IF. WEST GEREANY WOULD EVER DECIDE TO MAKE AN APPROACH TO THE SOVIET C

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IT MIGHT HAVE TO BE DOME WITHOUT FHAi.CE. DE GAULLE ALSOSEEMED INTERESTED IN EAST-WEST GERMAN RELATIONS, PARTICULARLYR NOT THERE WERE ANY CONCRETE PROJECTS UNDER CONSIDERATION.

THE SUBJECT OF SECURITY POLICY, THE FRENCH HAD SOKE

VERY INTERESTING VIEWPOINTS WITH REGARD TO GERMAN SECURITY.

GUALLE SAID THAT WEST GERMANY COULD COUNT ON FRANCE'S SUPPORT IN CASEILITARY THREAT, 3UT ONLY IF THERELEAR PROVOCATION. THIS GUARANTEE WOULD NOT BE AUTOMATIC. THIS MEANS, AHLER SAID, THAT WEST GERMANY IS AT THE MERCYRENCHOF WHAT IS OR ISROVOCATION. IF THE FRENCH VERE TO DECIDE THAT GERMANY HAD NOTLEAR PROVOCATION, -GERMANY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO RELY ON FRENCH SUPPORT. J

FRENCHERY TOUGH POSITION OH THE SUBJECT

CF MILITARY COOPERATION 3ETVSEN FRANCE AND GERMANY.' -THEY WA.VTED -AND THEY ALMOST MADE ALL FUTURE COOPERATION 3ETSEEH FRANCE AND GERMANY CONDITIONAL ON GERMAN ACCEPTANCE OF THIS DEMAND - COMPLETE VEST GERMAN MILITARY RE-ORIENTATION TOWARD FRANCE, INCLUDING FRENCH ECUIPMENT AMD ARMAMENTS. IN OTHER WORDS, AHLERS SAID, THE FRENCH WANTED "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY".

OF THE SITUATION IN EASTERN EUROPE ANDT

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IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WEST WAS THE MOST HEATED PART OF THE CCNVER- ATIONS. CAUTIONING THAT WHAT HE WAS ABOUT TO SAY MUST BE TREATEDTATE SECRET, PARTICULARLY AS IT CONCERNED THE BEHAVIOUR AND ATTITUDES OF THE CHANCELLOR, AHLERS SAID THAT DE GAULLE'S TREATMENT OF THE CHANCELLOR HAD BEEN SO BRUTAL THATHO IS KNOWN FOR HIS PERSONAL CHARM TO VISITORS, SEVERAL TIKES LOST HIS COMPOSURE. WHEN DECUSED THE GERMANS OF HAVING EROUGHT ABOUT SOVIET INTERVENTION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, FOR INSTANCE, KISSINGER BECAME FURIOUS AND TCLD DE GAULLE THAT IT HAD NOTEST GERMANRENCH HEAD OF STATE WHO HAD VISITED POLAND AND RUMANIA AND WHO HAD CALLED UPON THE PEOPLE OF EASTERN EUROPE TO THROW OFF THE YOKE OF SOVIET HEGEMONY.

8. IN THEIR TALKS WITH BOTH KISSINGER AND BRANDT, THE FRENCH ECHOED ALMOST WORD FOR WORD THE SOVIET ARGUMENT ON EVENTS IN EASTERN EUROPE, PARTICULARLY THAT WEST GERMANY HAD BEEN TO BLAME SINCE THE SOVIETS HAD SEEN THAT WEST GERMANY WAS ABOUT TO DRAW CZECHOSLOVAKIA IR

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TO ITS ECONOMIC SPHERE OF INFLUENCE. EVEN BEFORE THESAID, THE WEST GERMAN GOVERNMENT HAD HEARD THAT FRENCHMANY COUNTRIES HAD BEEN SAYING TO ALMOST ANYONE WHO WOULD LISTEN

THAT SOVIET INTERVENTION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA WAS UNDERSTANDABLEINDUSTRY WASMAJOR COMMERCIAL OFFENSIVEEUROPE. THE FRENCH MADE IT CLEAR IN THEIR TALKS IN BONN

THAT IF TKE GERMANS HOPED FOR FURTHER FRENCH SUPPORT ONTHE EAST, THEY WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR IT IN TKE FORMGERMAN SUPPORT CF THE FRENCH ECONOMY.

. DE GAULLE ALSO CRITICIZED THE GERMANS FOR ALWAYS BEING

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C - WORRIEDHANGE IN THE MILITARY BALANCE OF POWER. WHEN HE TOLD KIESIN3ER THAT THE WEST GERMANS SHOULD ASK THEMSELVES WHETHER THEY WERE NOT PERHAPS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EVENTS OFUGUST IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, THE CHANCELLOR TURNED CHALKY WHITE. THEN DE GAULLE ADDED WHAT FOR THE CHANCELLOR WAS THE LAST STRAW BY SAYING THAT THERE WAS NO REASON TO ASSUME THE SOVIETS HAD ANY INTENTION TO COMMIT AGGRESSION AND THAT THE WEST GERMAN DEMANDTRENGTHENING OF NATO WAS EXAGGERATED. AT THIS POINT THE CHAN-CELLOR EXPLODED AND TOLD DE GAULLE THAT TWICE THE GERMANS HAD DE-

FEATEDD ADVANCED TO THE ATLANTIC COAST. NEITHER TIME

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THE GERMAN FORCES BEEN AS STRONG AS THE SOVIETS WEREF.IF THE SOVIET ARMIES INTENDED TO DO SO, THEY COULDGERMANY INOURS, KISSINGER SAID, BUT HE TOLD DETC FORGET THAT THEY WOULD NOT l'STOp' at THE RHINE. it THE german "OVERRAN FRANCE.HCRT_ TIME, THIS WOULD LOOKTHE AMOUNT. OF TIME IT WOULD TAKE THE SOVIETS. YOU WILL HAVE THE EUROPE YOU HAVEA EJJROPE FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE URALS, BUT IT WILL BE.CONTROL".

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12. AS FAR AS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE TALKS FCR GERMANY'S EASTERN POLICY IS CONCERNED, AHLERS STRESSED THAT GERMANY MUST EXPECT NO FURTHER JOINT FRANCO-GERMAN COOPERATION. ONCE THE FRENCH FEEL THAT THEIR OWN POLICY IN EASTERN EUROPE IS ENDANGERED, THEY WILL MAXE NO MOVE TO SUPPORT THAT OF THE VEST GERMANS. IT MUST ALSO BE EXPECTED THAT FRANCE, IN AN EFFORT TO FURTHER HER OWN INTERESTS IN EASTERN EUROPE, WILL ATTEMPT TO CAST GERMANY INAD LIGHT AND BLAME GERMANY FCR THE FRENCH LACK OF* THAT

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DURING BRANDT'S TALKS WITH DE3RE AND KIESINGER'S COXVER-SATIONS WITH DE GAULLE, THE FRENCH CRITICIZED THE GERMANS FOR HAVING FAILED TC SETTLE TKE GUESTIONS CF THE XER-NEISSE BOUNDARY OR THE KUKICH AGREEMENT ARD FOR MOT HAVING MADE MORE PROGRESS TOWARD REMJJIC-

IATIOK OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS OR TOWARD SIGNING TKE NON-PROLIFERATION

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TREATY. FROM_/THESE CONVERSATIONS, AHLERS SAID, BOTHH_AD__COME T0 THE CONCLUSION.THAT THERE HAD NOWREAK_IN,THE SOL_IDARITY_ WHICH PREVIOUSLY EXISTED BETWEEN FRANCE,AND GERMANY.

A GREAT CHANGE IS TAKING PLACE IN FRENCH POLICY, AHLERS SAID, AND IT WILL IN FUTURE BE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM THE WEST GERMAN. DE GAULLE EVEN TCLD THE CHANCELLOR, AHLERS SAID, THAT FROM NOJ CN THE FRENCH ARE LOOKING CUT ONLY FCR FRANCE. IN THE FACE OF ALL THIS, GERMANY MUST STEERERY CAREFUL COURSE. DE GAULLE MACE IT BRUTALLY CLEAR THAT IF THE WEST GERMANS WERE NOT FOR FRANCE, THEN THEY"MUST BE AGAINST HER. MUCH CF THE BASIS OF THE FRENCH ATTITUDE, AHLERS SAID, CAN BE FOUND IN FRENCH ENVY OF WEST GERMAN ECONOMIC POTENTIAL AND JEALOUSY OF THE SUCCESS THE WEST GERMANS HAVE HAD IN ADVANCING THEIR ECONOMIC TIES WITH THE COUTRIES OF EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE. THE GERMANS HAVE IN MANY CASES TAKEN OVER TKE POSITI ON PREVIOUSLY' ENJOYEDRANCE. IN ANY CASE,

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SAID, ANY HOPE THAT HAD EXISTEDOINT EFFORT BETWEEN- -FRANCE AND GERMANY IN EASTERN EUROPE MUST BE REGARDED AS DEAD

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OF DE GAULLE'S COMMENTS TO THE CHANCELLOR CN UNITED STATES POLICY. ALTHOUGH NOT MUCH OF THE TALKS BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS HADTKE UNITED STATES, DE GAULLE TOLD KIESINGER AT ONE POINT THAT NOTHING COULD REALLY BE DONE UNTIL AFTER. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. DEGAULLE SAID HE EXPECTS THE NEW PRESIDENT TO END THE WAR IN VIETNAM AND THEN GO TO MOSCOW. DE SAULLE SAID THAT IF EUROPE DOESN'T HURRY, THERE WILL BE AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND MOSCOW WHICH WILL LEAVE EUROPE OUT IS THE

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